Traffic Roots is a cannabis ad network that serves ads worldwide. Here we will go through the details and compare it to other cannabis ad networks. When we tried out Traffic Roots the result was not so hot. Traffic Roots made substantially less than the two other major networks. Continue reading our rundown and review on Traffic Roots.

UPDATE 5/3/2019: Traffic Roots has claimed that they did not pay out prior sites due to illegal transactions occurring on those sites as well as other ad loading schemes.

Traffic Roots: One of the newest ad networks for cannabis related traffic

When it comes to ad networks, publishers are looking to get the most per click and view. DabConnection is a non-affiliate site with no paid links, paid reviews, or paid posts. So the site’s only revenue is generated from ad revenue, currently Mantis Ad Network and before we have used Puff Network. To cut it short, at this point Mantis Ad Network is the best way to go as a publisher in the cannabis space looking to use a cannabis ad network. We found Traffic Roots to be the lowest paying network for cannabis sites, by a wide margin.

A new ad platform is born in San Diego

Traffic Roots was started in 2016 by Christian Valdez who is the company’s CEO. The company is based in San Diego, California and serves ads to international customers. It received seed funding in the amount of $250,000 from Canopy Boulder’s San Diego operation which was closed after one year. Canopy helps cannabis companies get started with funding and guidance. At that time, Traffic Roots was valued at $2,500,000.

What Traffic Roots Offers Publishers and Advertisers

For Publishers, Traffic Roots offers payments based on CPM. Publishers get paid per 1,000 impressions made for display ads. Traffic Roots does not have content ads or video ads in its platform.

Advertising on the Traffic Roots network

Pricing is simple on the advertising end and is estimated to be about $8 CPM. Every 1,000 views of your ad will probably cost about $8. Traffic Roots have claimed that this rate varies, so we are not sure on the actual rate, but this is what we have heard.

Advertisers pay for impressions and do not pay per click, so the efficiency of the money spent is up to the effectiveness of the advertiser’s ad. The typical CPM range for cannabis ads is between $5 and $15. Some sites charge as high as $15, but those are probably not being used by the shrewd advertiser.

Sources of traffic for Traffic Roots

The vast majority of traffic on the network is from the United States and Canada is second, which is the case for all cannabis ad networks. Traffic Roots displays to cannabis sites.

Site selection on Traffic Roots

Advertisers cannot block out certain websites on Traffic Roots like they can on Mantis Ad Network. The CPM of $8 seems to be lower than Mantis, but without the ability to optimize sites it is hard to tell which is better. Advertisers can try both and see which works better, but as explained below with current payouts most cannabis sites may currently shy away from Traffic Roots.

Publishing on the Traffic Roots network

Being a publisher on Traffic Roots gets you about $0.99 CPM. Yes that is 99 cents. DabConnection’s has better than average ad metrics so this might be a higher payout than some other sites. Making significant revenue as a publisher for Traffic Roots is difficult. Our site currently spends most the money earned back on reviewing more products and more content. On 108,000 impressions, we would have earned $107.

Traffic Roots does not make enough revenue for our site to sustain despite our high CTR. You may not see Traffic Roots on top cannabis sites until they change the payouts structure. Not having native ads also has an impact and is discussed below.

Traffic Roots vs Mantis Ad Network

mantis vs traffic roots
Mantis has some benefits over Traffic Roots

Mantis Ad Network is currently the most popular cannabis advertising network, followed by Puff Network. Compared to Traffic Roots, Mantis wins here hands down. We have solid figures from both Mantis and Traffic Roots for a legitimate comparison. There’s two main reasons Mantis performs better than Traffic Roots for publishers: higher payouts and content ads. Video ads are also available on the Mantis Ad Network, but since video ads do not provide the best user experience we do not use them. A plus though for someone really trying to maximize the profit out of their website.

Mantis Ad Network’s Content ads provide a huge boost

Content advertising, also known as native ads, are suggested reading posts shown typically at the bottom of an organic post. The most popular form of native ads is Taboola. You will see them advertising something about “The Brave Doctor In Flint Who Refused To Be Silenced” by Forbes. They are essentially clickbait, although many of the articles on Mantis are informative and actually worth reading. Traffic Roots does not have content ads, also known as native ads.

A good day of content ad clicks on Mantis gets closed to almost the full payout from Traffic Roots.

Mantis pays out more for display ads

The only ads that Traffic Roots offers are display ads. Mantis pays out substantially more than Traffic Roots on its display offerings. Below is the one day payout for only display ads on Mantis. Note that it is two days shown here. These are the first two days Mantis was fully up after removing Traffic Roots.

On the first full day of operation Mantis display ads returned $45.18. For two days, November 22 and 23 when Traffic Roots was running in full force, DabConnection made just over $21.

Really though nothing was paid out as mentioned below.

Traffic Roots has a higher minimum payout

We quit traffic roots after a brief time and earned $115. We did not get paid the $115 and were later told it was because we did not meet the minimum payout threshold of $250. T Since the CPM payout was so low we did not continue Traffic Roots to get to $250, we switched back ASAP.

Mantis has a minimum payout of $100. Much better for small sites starting out that need funds fast. Plus as you will see below, it will take you 8x longer to even get to $100 on Traffic Roots than on Mantis.

Customer service is better at Mantis

Mantis has sometimes been a bit slow to respond when they are busy, but they still respond faster than Traffic Roots. Some responses from Traffic Roots have taken about a week when sent directly by email.

Mantis clearly wins over Traffic Roots, it’s not even close

Overall, Mantis is much more profitable than Traffic Roots. Display ads pay more, content ads exist, and you can even put up videos if you want. On top of that you can run your own ad campaigns within their platform, making things really easy.

At the end of the day without running videos, 100,000 impressions on Traffic Roots gets you about $99. On Mantis, 100,000 impressions will get you about $325 on display ad clicks, $600 on display ad impressions, and $165 on content, totaling $1,090.  I should also note that Mantis does flag some visitors through software. our site has no bots at all, but some of our visits are still flagged. So it is possible Traffic Roots does not flag anything as it does not seem as advanced a network. Even taking that into account and discounting our traffic, Mantis still makes about 8x as much as Traffic Roots.

Traffic Roots vs 420 Network

420 Network is now owned by Mantis Ad Network. Some people might be searching for a comparison of the two, but when someone contacts 420 Network, they will now get a reply from a Mantis representative.

Traffic Roots vs Puff Network

puff network vs traffic roots
Puff Network just came back online in June of 2019.

Puff Network has just come back online for June of 2019.  Our site initially started with Mantis, then went to Puff Network, then Traffic Roots, then back to Mantis.

Puff Network will be doing an 80%/20% split with its publishers on advertising revenue. This would be 80% to the publisher and 20% to Puff Network. Unless Traffic Roots changes it’s payout structure, it will remain behind Puff Network

The sudden stop of it all at Puff Network

One huge downside to Puff Network was getting an email mid month that they are closing everything, publishers have to stop ads, and they are no longer paying out until it is fixed. This is what got us trying out Traffic Roots in the first place.

A planned announcement would have been much better and we believe Puff Network could have handled this much better with an advanced announcement. Some notice would have been proper. Luckily we do not live off our site’s income, but I could see something like that being financially devastating to those that work on their sites full time.

Customer service is about the same

Considering the sudden stop of it all, customer service was not great for both Puff Network and Traffic Roots. They are responsive and courteous at Puff Network, but actions speak louder than words and the shutdown was a headache.

Overall, Mantis is far ahead of the other ad networks in 2019

I can say the only solidly reliable cannabis ad network has been Mantis at this point. There may be new ones in the future. Traffic Roots might add native ads and improve payouts. However, for now, there really is no competition to Mantis other than direct ads.

Should I use Traffic Roots or skip it?

Advertisers might want to give it a try if they can negoatiate a lower rate. They are only paying out 99 cents on the publisher end, so you might be able to get a lower deal. You may be able to get a lower rate by hitting the sites up directly as well.

Publishers might want to skip Traffic Roots altogether. The payout is insanely low and it would be hard to imagine that any site could even cover it’s basic expenses, let alone be profitable, using Traffic Roots as it’s ad network platform. Our top pick for now is Mantis Ad Network for cannabis ad networks. We hope Traffic Roots improves in the future and offers better payouts for publishers and the ability for advertisers to block out adult sites.


  1. You should ask Christian where he got the idea. It’s stolen. I brought him in on this idea and after trade shows and funding our creative and he decided he didn’t need me. He’s a liar. And a cheat and had never be COO of an ad network so he lied to his (my) investors
    As well. I know because he worked for me And got shit canned because he sucks in the ad world.

  2. If I were looking for an ad network, I’d stay away from Mantis too. They play games with their stats and when I called them out on it and told them I was leaving, they deleted my account and now refuse to pay me the remaining amount due on my account. It’s only about $50 (their minimum payout) but they will not return e-mails or pay the amount due. This is scammer techniques and I will continue to call them out until I am paid.

    • hmm that’s the exact opposite experience we had.. in fact we have made a lot of money with Mantis and they always pay on time. I’m guessing your website broke their TOS and/or you were not showing ads in a proper way? Of course they won’t pay for bad traffic, so chances are your traffic was bot traffic or something else no advertiser would want to pay for, which would make sense considering you are worried about hitting the $50 threshold… something that we hit the first day of working with them LOL

  3. TrafficRoots is definitely not a good use of advertising dollars. It is the worst performing platform we’ve ever run, by a significant margin, even when using the same creatives.

  4. In the non-cannabis world, I’ve been using and working with ad networks since they were first formed, both as publisher and advertiser. For cannabis as a publisher, I’ve been with Mantis for a couple of years now and they are consistently just OK. About a 1.00cpm. I tried TrafficRoots for 2 months, CPM was a bit higher, but I don’t trust them and getting paid was very difficult. I’ve been down this road with other networks and learned quickly to step away. I now have some experience with Puffnetwork and have to say these guys rock. Excellent customer service and a willingness to discuss how to generate more revenue. They reply to emails. My 2 cents.

    • What was your CTR to get that CPM with Mantis and that’s including total of all you are getting per 1k views? That’s way lower than we get, but I know our site does better than average on ads.

      • Mantis plays with their stats to make CPM’s and CTR’s appear higher. On stat they have said $5.22 CPM based on “verified impressions” wtf is that? When I looked at ALL my impressions vs my payout (I don’t really account for clicks, that’s the job of the ad – to get clicks) I received about a $.72 CPM for total impression delivered.

        My view on internet ads (or advertising in general) is its the responsibility of the advertiser to do great ads that get clicks, not my responsibility as a publisher. My responsibility is to get an audience that likes my content. If I have no audience, I have no reason for advertisers to place ads. I can’t provide both an audience and their motivation, it’s up to the advertiser to motivate and inspire clicks. It’s impossible to make a living strictly on advertising as the networks sell too cheaply.

  5. The publisher featured in your article’s screen shots was using one site to load a pop-under of his other site and had an automatic js script reloading the ad divs every ten seconds. He was also serving stolen, copyrighted material. We consider that fraud and a violation of our terms of service. You have $182.00 in earnings on our network and never reached the $250.00 payout threshold. You state that the threshold is a scam as if you had to pay to sign up. Your hit piece here is disingenuous at best.

    • That’s a fair reason to ban them and we have updated the post. As for our site, we used it for a very brief time but the min payout was not disclosed prior to signing up. Since you state you are changing that we have edited the article since others won’t go in thinking that either.

      • I just replied to your email, they’re lying through their teeth to try and do damage control, and it’s frankly revolting to see.

  6. Traffic Roots is a complete scam. They screwed me out of over $3000 in earnings and lied about their own metrics coming from their publisher dashboard. This just happened during our largest month of organic traffic and nearly ruined me financially.

    Avoid for your own sake.

    • You were committing fraud by loading ads in hidden divs. Your site is a place where street level drug dealers transact business. We don’t want to be anywhere around when you get busted. We have emails from you praising us for paying you out several thousand dollars, which also state that Mantis owes you several thousand dollars and didn’t pay. Funny how you didn’t mention that.

      • “Your site is a place where street level drug dealers transact business.”

        Nope. Nice character assassination. Anyone attempting any sales or exchange of personal information on our sites is immediately removed by moderators, and this is detailed clearly in our community rules.

        “We don’t want to be anywhere around when you get busted”

        We’re a 14 year old community. FOURTEEN YEARS. Stop trying to pull some shit acting like I’m some DPR Silk Road operator bullshit, this is an old, respected community of many demographics that I even ended up meeting my spouse on. Eat shit.

        “We have emails from you praising us for paying you out several thousand dollars, which also state that Mantis owes you several thousand dollars and didn’t pay.”

        Okay, this is the biggest insult.

        You have never paid out. Once. I worked with 420Network in the past, they paid out and worked with me for years. Mantis has consistently performed, paid out, and works with me just fine.

        You guys are a fucking fraud and it’s disgusting you’d sink to the level of outright lying about something so plain.

      • “You were committing fraud by loading ads in hidden divs.”

        Forgot this one. Also not true. Jesus fucking christ.

  7. I would advise people against using TrafficRoots. Not only they wouldn’t reply to my Support Tickets, but they mark them “replied” without actually replying a thing. Tragic customer service. They won’t even release my funds ($300). That’s absurd and makes me furious. Do not use Traffic Roots, find a better platform.

    • You started hitting us up, sounding quite desperate, as soon as you had $20 in earnings. You even offered to send us the difference between what you had earned and $250 – just to get paid out that tiny amount. Kind of a red flag. You were terminated and banned because you are a spammer who engages in blogspam on Reddit.

  8. Excellent article. I’ve been using Traffic Roots for about 6 months now and find their payout rate abysmal. Mantis Ads not only has a more profitable rate, but as you mentioned they offer content which is actually informative as opposed to clickbait trash.

    • Thanks for commenting and glad to see we are not alone on our assessment! Glad you found Mantis, with Traffic Roots there really is nothing to be made, and really, sites that actually have to buy things to review like ours would run at a loss!

    • In those 6 months, you had 65,418 impressions and 33 clicks, for a CTR of 0.0504 – not exactly stellar. But you earned a CPM of $1.33 on that traffic. Just putting your comments in perspective.


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